Stop subsidizing builders, Realtors
The continued moratorium of the transportation impact fees until June 2015 is a mistake for Hernando County. Our county needs to shift economic reliance from construction and retail to more high paying professional industries. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn understands the need to "change Tampa's DNA" from building more subdivisions to attracting high-paying, high-tech jobs and keeping the youth of the Tampa from getting an education and moving elsewhere.
Hernando County is going in the opposite direction and by continuing the moratorium on education and transportation impact fees and subsidizing the construction business we are bringing more restaurants, retailers and lower paying jobs. While you continue to subsidize the builders you starve the schools and the residents of good roads, good schools and the opportunity for high-paying, professional jobs.
Next year, when it comes time to re-evaluate the impact fee issues, education and transportation, the builders and Realtors will continue to come forward saying their business hasn't recovered sufficiently and it would be a death blow to them if you reinstate those fees as they cry their crocodile tears to the bank on the backs of the residents.
Perhaps the strategy to continue to subsidize an industry that is not attracting high-paying jobs should be re-evaluated and replaced with a strategy that can actually change Hernando's DNA and bring high paying jobs. Take a page from Mayor Buckhorn and look to the future of our community not stay beholden to our past.
Anne Kraus-Keenan, Spring Hill
Quality of life has role in decision
County commissioners voted to continue the moratorium on impact fees, which came as no surprise. The argument delivered by both the builders and Realtors, and given great weight by a commission majority, was that impact fees stifle construction because they raise the cost of housing. Near as I can figure out Hernando County is about the only county in our general area that doesn't have impact fees, so it would stand to reason that we are leading the bay area in permits.
Now near as I can figure Hernando County has issued in the neighborhood of 160 permits. I am afraid, however, Pasco has edged past Hernando, despite their job killing impact fees, with about 940 permits.
Price is but one component of why people choose a place to live. Perhaps reading in the paper that schools are becoming too dangerous because ceilings are falling in may make home buyers consider that a few dollars more are worth their children's safety. Perhaps driving on overly congested and deteriorating roadways (paved and unpaved) may make them decide that a few dollars more will be saved in front end alignments and idling in stalled traffic.
Perhaps some day the power brokers in this county will understand that the bottom line in determining where to live will in large part be determined by quality of life. Quality and cheap seldom coexist in the same universe.
Dennis Schoch, Spring Hill